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Size of Test Specimens -. Test specimens cubical in shape shall be 15 X 15 X 15 cm.

If the largest nominal size of the aggregate does not exceed 2 cn, 10 cm cubes may
be used as an alternative. Cylindrical test specimens shall have a length equal to
twice the diameter. They shall be 15 cm in diameter and 30 cm long. Smaller test
specimens shall have a ratio of diameter of specimen to maximum size of
aggregate of not less than 3 to 1, except that the diameter of the specimen shall be
not less than 75 cm for mixtures containing aggregate more than 5 percent of
which is retained on IS Sieve 480.
Capping Specimens - The ends of all cylindrical test specimens that are not plane
within 005 mm shall be capped.
Neat Cement - Test cylinders may be capped with a thin layer of stiff, neat Portland
cement paste' after the concrete has ceased settling in the moulds, generally for
two to four hours or more after moulding. The cap shall be formed by means of
glass plate
Sulphur - Just prior to testing, the cylindrical specimens may be capped with a
sulphur mixture consisting of 2 or 3 parts sulphur to ] part of inert filler, such as fireclay. Sulphur caps shall be allowed to harden for at least 2 hours before applying the
Hard Plaster -. Just prior to testing, specimens may be capped with hard plaster
having a compressive strength of at least 420 kg/sq cm in one hour. Such plasters
are generally available as proprietory material. The cap shall be formed by means of
a glass plate not less than 13 mm in thickness, having a minimum surface.'
dimension at least 25 mm larger than the diameter of the mould. The glass plate
shall be lightly coated with oil to avoid sticking
In the case of cubes, the specimen
shall be placed in the machine in such a manner that the load shall be applied to opposite sides of the cubes as cast, that is, not to the top and
bottom The axis of the specimen shall be carefully aligned with the
centre of thrust of the spherically seated platen No packing shall be
used between the faces of the test specimen and the steel platen of the
testing machine

Split tensile strength of concreteThe tensile strength is one of the basic and important properties of the concrete.
The concrete is not usually expected to resist the direct tension because of its low
tensile strength and brittle nature. However, the determination of tensile strength of
concrete is necessary to determine the load at which the concrete members may
crack. The cracking is a form of tension failure. Apart from the flexure test the other
methods to determine the tensile strength of concrete can be broadly classified as

(a) direct methods, and (b) indirect methods. The direct method suffers from a
number of difficulties related to holding the specimen properly in the testing
machine without introducing stress concentration, and to the application of uniaxial
tensile load which is free from eccentricity to the specimen. As the concrete is weak
in tension even a small eccentricity of load will induce combined bending and axial
force condition and the concrete fails at the apparent tensile stress other than the
tensile strength. As there are many difficulties associated with the direct tension
test, a number of indirect methods have been developed to determine the tensile
strength. In these tests in general a compressive force is applied to a concrete
specimen in such a way that the specimen fails due to tensile stresses developed in
the specimen. The tensile stress at which the failure occurs is termed the tensile
strength of concrete. The splitting tests are well known indirect tests used for
determining the tensile strength of concrete sometimes referred to as split tensile
strength of concrete. The test consists of applying a compressive line load along the
apposite generators of a concrete cylinder placed with its axis horizontal between
the compressive platens.
tensile stress= 2P/DL
The air-cured concrete gives lower tensile strength than that given by moist-cured
concrete. The flexural strength as obtained by rupture test is found to be greater
than the split tensile strength.
Apply the load without shock and increase it continuously at the rate to produce a
split tensile stress of approximately 1.4 to 2.1 N/mm2 /min, until no greater load can
be sustained.
Standard cylinders are of height h equal to twice the diameter d, but sometimes
specimens of other proportions are encountered. This is particulary the case with
cores cut from in situ concrete: the diameter depends on the size of the core-cutting
tool whereas the height of the core varies with the thickness of the slab or member.
If the core is too long, it can be trimmed to the h/d ratio of 2 before testing but, with
too short a core, it is necessary to estimate the strength of the same concrete as if
it had been determined on a specimen with h/d =2 and apply correction factors.
Standard Correction Factors for Strength of Cylinders with Different Ratios of Height
to Diameter are given in code.
High strength concrete is less affected by the height/diameter ratio of the specimen,
and such a concrete is also less influenced by the shape of the specimen; the two
factors should be related as there is comparatively little difference between the
strengths of a cube and of a cylinder with hld=1.
The influence on strength of the ratio of height to the least lateral dimension applies
also in the case of prisms. Of course, if the end friction is eliminated, the effect of
h/d on strength disappears but this is very difficult to achieve in a routine test.

According to the expressions converting the strength of cores into the strength of
equivalent cubes in BS 1881: Part 120:1983, the strength of cylinder is equal to 0.8
of the strength of a cube but, in reality, there is no simple relation between the
strengths of the specimens of the two shapes. The ratio of the strengths of the
cylinder to the cube increases strongly with an increase in strength and is nearly 1
at strengths of more than 100 MPa
Cylinders are believed to give a greater uniformity of results for nominally similar
specimens because their failure is less affected by the end restraint of the
specimen; their strength is less influenced by the properties of the coarse aggregate
used in the mix; and the stress distribution on horizontal planes in a cylinder is more
uniform than on a specimen of square cross-section. It may be recalled that
cylinders are cast and tested in the same position. Whereas in a cube the line of
action of the load is at right angles to the axis of the cube as-cast. In structural
compression members, the situation is similar to that existing in a test cylinder, and
it has been suggested that, for this reason, tests on cylinders are more realistic. The
relation between the directions as-cast and as-tested has, however, been shown not
to affect appreciably the strength of cubes made with unsegregated and
homogeneous concrete.
There are three types of test for strength in tension: direct tension test, flexure test,
and splitting tension test. A direct application of a pure tension force, free from
eccentricity, is very difficult.
Despite some success with the use of lazy-tong grips, it is difficult to avoid
secondary stresses such as those induced by grips or by embedded studs.
As far as compressive strength specimens are .concerned, testing in a dry condition
leads to a higher strength. It has been suggested that drying shrinkage at the
surface induces a biaxial compression on the core of the specimen, thus increasing
its strength in the third direction, that is, in the direction of the applied load.
However, tests have shown that well-cured mortar prisms and concrete cores, when
completely dried, had a higher compressive strength than when tested wet. These
specimens were not subject to differential shrinkage so that there was no biaxial
stress system induced. The behaviour of the specimens, described above, accords
also with the suggestion that the loss of strength due to wetting of a compression
test specimen is caused by the dilation of the cement gel by adsorbed water: the
forces of cohesion of the solid particles are then decreased.
Re-soaking oven-dried specimens in water reduces their strength to the value of
continuously wet-cured specimens, provided they have hydrated to the same
degree. The variation in strength due to drying appears thus to be a reversible
Beam specimens tested in flexure exhibit behaviour opposite to that of compression
test specimens: a beam which has been allowed to dry before testing has a lower

modulus of rupture than a similar specimen tested in a wet condition. This

difference is due to the tensile stresses induced by restrained shrinkage prior to the
application of the load which induces tension in the extreme fibre. The magnitude of
the apparent loss of strength depends on the rate at which moisture evaporates
from the surface of the specimen. It should be emphasized that this effect is distinct
from the influence of curing on strength.
The strength of cylinders tested in splitting tension is not affected by the moisture
condition because failure occurs in a plane remote from the surface subjected to
wetting or drying. The temperature of the specimen at the time of testing (as
distinct from the curing temperature) affects the strength, a higher temperature
leading to a lower indicated strength, both in the case of compression and of flexure


The cubes shall be tested on their sides without any packing between the cube and the steel platens of the testing machine.
load shall be steadily and uniformly applied, starting from zero at a rate of 350 kgs/cm2 /min

Loading Cubes for compressive strength- should be applied to the opposite side
other than casted side.
Rough face (top of the cube when casted) faces to the side when the cube is placed
in the machine for crushing.
Results much lower than the true strength will be obtained by loading faces of the
cube specimen that are not truly plane surfaces
With cube specimens the problem will worsen with the older and high strength
specimens because the older concrete ( 28 days rather than 7 days) will be more
rigid so it is subjected to less plastic distortion . But with cylinders the problem is
different coz of sulphur caps which will flow equally with age. Since seatings are
spherical cube will be concentrically loaded but with cubes eccentrical loading
induced bending moment along with axial force so reducing the failure load.
In general specimens tested under same direction of the casting will yield higher
strengths than those tested perpendicular because occurrence of flaws aligned
perpendicular to the casting direction due to water gain (bleeding) under coarse
aggregate particles. Cores tested parallel to to the casting direction will have more
strength by 8 % and when tested perpendicular to casring direction strength will be
lost by 12 %.